New and improved!
Judging by the number of resume writing services advertised on the web, you’d think that writing a solid resume was something that only a highly trained expert could do. While it can be daunting, and is most definitely an art; writing a good resume is something everyone can do. The trick is, if you’re rusty or haven’t been on the job market in a while, to bring your resume up to date with the expected formatting and content. Here are a few things to consider when you create a new resume or update your existing one:
- Format- The standard for formatting is the chronological resume. This should be used by anyone who has relevant work experience. The order in which you should organize your information is the following;
- Header (contact information)
- Summary of experience (4 sentences outlining your expertise and skills)
- Chronological work history (in reverse order, including only relevant positions)
- Keywords- Resume screening software is very widely used these days, and you must include words in your resume that the screening application will be looking for. Review the job posting, and use appropriate words and phrases within your resume that match criteria in the posting.
- Accomplishments- in your work history section, you should not be listing your job duties- you should be listing your accomplishments. Tell the reader the results you achieved in your position, not a description of your various tasks. Use numbers, percentages and dollar figures wherever possible. For example; instead of writing, “Responsible for selling units to new and existing customers in territory” write, “Named ‘#1 Sales Associate’ in 2004 by generating $2,400,000 in new customer revenue and exceeding quota by 65%.”
- No pronouns- Do not refer to yourself, nor use articles like “the” or “an”. Resumes are never written in first person, and always in a sort of objective short-hand. You have limited space, no use wasting it on unnecessary words. For example; instead of “I created a sales-lead tracking tool so that we could see the status of everyone’s leads”, write this, “Created sales-lead tracking tool for easy viewing of team status.”
- Fluff- Leave out details on positions you’ve held that are not relevant to the position you seek. Just list the title, company and dates in your work history, but don’t devote space to describing the position. Also, leave out hobbies, ‘outside interests’, and never include information about your marital status or family.